Meet The Maker: Jenny Coombs
[image: Jenny Coombs]
Meet the Maker tells you a bit more about the people who make our lovely products. We asked the maker of our Card Making Kits, Jenny Coombs, a few questions.
You were the first winner of the colleges’ competition based at National Wool Museum. What course were you taking at the time?
I took part in the competition in the first year of my degree at Swansea Metropolitan University, where I was studying BA (Hons) Surface Pattern Design. I have just finished my final year and will graduate in July 2013.
Describe the brief given to you for this project.
The brief was to create and produce prototypes for a range of commercial products to be sold in the shop of the National Museum of Wales. The Museum’s collections and history had to be the main influence as well as the theme of Keepsakes. The product had to be easy to put into batch production and needed to consider target customer, method of manufacture, material choice, costing and packaging.
What particularly inspired you about National Wool Museum?
I instantly was attracted to the colours and designs of the traditional Welsh blankets. As a textile designer I was fascinated in how they were made. The machinery was then the starting point of my drawings and ideas of this project.
Why did you choose to make a card making kit?
After viewing the Museum’s collection it was evident that amount of craftsmanship and skill that echoed throughout. I wanted to create a product that could continue on the idea of skill and making. I wanted to allow the visitors to gain not only the knowledge that fills the Museum but also take away a keepsake that resonates the spirit of the museum. My range of craft kits were designed so anyone of any age or ability would be able to create something engaging and inspired by the museum.
The process between design concept and final production is an interesting one! What did you learn about getting your idea from design stage to final product?
The development from my initial prototype to the final product has been really interesting and I have learnt a great deal. When initially designing the product I hadn’t taken into account various components such as adding Welsh, making the product easy and cost effective to produce. This process has given me time to make those changes and now my product is one that I am proud of!
Finally, do you think that going through this process has helped you with your future career plans?
This process had really inspired and educated me into continuing to produce and sell my own work once I graduate this year. In the future, I would love to set up my own business to continue with projects such as this. The National Museum’s of Wales have given me a great opportunity to create my own product. I feel that this is just the start and I am excited about my future!